Investing for Retirement
Benefits Of Starting Early
Material provided by Raymond James for use by its advisors.
The main benefit of starting early is to take advantage of compounding interest. Compounding interest allows you to earn interest on both the principal you invest and the interest you earn – potentially enabling you to turn a small sum into a substantial one over time.
When saving for retirement, or another future goal, consider using dollar-cost averaging as a strategy – the process of making regular investments on an ongoing basis, regardless of price; for example, buy 100 shares of an investment each month, quarter or year. Your aim is to buy more shares of a security when its share price is low, and fewer shares when its price is high. Over time, it’s likely the average cost per share will be lower than the average market price. For many, this is the most realistic way to save toward retirement because these periodic investments come from paycheck as opposed to having a lump-sum of money to invest all at once.
Dollar-cost averaging cannot guarantee a profit or protect against a loss, and you should consider your financial ability to continue purchases through periods of low price levels.
Diversification is key to managing risks
At this stage in life, you may discover you are better positioned to withstand short-term market fluctuations than someone nearing or in retirement. We can work with you to identify the risks most relevant to your situation, as well as to determine the appropriate allocation of assets to balance these risks, which may include:
Fluctuation or volatility in the performance of financial markets. How and where your assets are allocated across different asset classes plays a key role in managing market risk.
Costs of goods and services increase over time. Your cost of living at retirement might be higher than it is now, as inflation erodes the value of your savings and reduces your purchasing power over time.
Longer life expectancies mean the assets you save toward retirement will need to last longer. As you determine your savings goals, consider you may need your assets to generate income throughout a 20- to 30- year retirement.
Diversifying your savings among several asset types may enable you to take advantage of growth potential in different sectors and various financial markets. You may want to avoid placing your retirement savings in one type of asset, so to balance performance in times of market fluctuation. Also consider dollar-cost averaging which is the process of making regular investments on an ongoing basis, regardless of price. This can make the average cost of your investments lower than the average market price over time. Although dollar-cost averaging may not mitigate market, inflation, and longevity risks, it typically offsets their impact on the value of your investments.
Contact us for more information on how we can work together to manage these risks by applying a comprehensive process to plan for your retirement.
Diversification and dollar-cost averaging do not assure a profit and does not protect against loss. Dollar-cost averaging involves continuous investment regardless of fluctuating price levels of such securities. Investors should consider their financial ability to continue purchases through periods of low price levels.
Managing Life Changes
Whether you’re changing careers, buying a new house or starting a family, we can help you live the life you choose today, while still prudently planning for the future.
Wherever your work or life leads you, we can assist you in managing your cash flow and allocating your resources, helping you reach both your short- and intermediate-term goals without endangering your long-term plans.
Please contact us so we can help you determine an appropriate course of action for your retirement plan.
If you’re planning to buy a new home, we can help you allocate an appropriate portion of your holdings to investments designed to facilitate that purchase. We can also assist with managing the funds needed for your changing lifestyle, including mortgage, property taxes and related expenses.
If you’ve recently started a family – or are contemplating doing so – we can help you optimize your investments, meet the expenses you will incur over the next several years and help make sure your life goals are achievable and realistic.
As you change employers – or go to work for yourself – you typically have several options for dealing with the funds you’ve accumulated in your former employer’s retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b). The option you choose could have significant tax implications or alter your existing retirement plan.
Making a Plan
At this stage in your life, your goal should be to begin building up enough assets to provide adequate income to meet your needs throughout retirement – accounting for factors like increased longevity, healthcare costs and inflation. To accomplish this goal, you need a plan.
How Much Money Will You Need?
To maintain your standard of living, a general rule of thumb suggests your annual retirement income should equal approximately 80% of your income the year you retire. So, if you determine you’ll earn $100,000 the year you retire, you’ll need to save enough to provide $80,000 per each year you are retired.
Once you’ve evaluated your income needs for retirement, it’s time to develop a well-crafted retirement plan. We can help guide you through this often complex process, which can involve different strategies, each with possible tax deferred advantages. These strategies may include:
- Contribute to your employer’s retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), and take advantage of match programs; consider automatic payroll deduction for dollar cost averaging. Or roll over assets from a previous employer’s plan.
- If you don’t have an employer plan, or if you wish to invest separately from your employer sponsored plan, consider investing regularly using an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). You may wish to discuss the tax implications of both traditional and Roth IRAs to determine which best meets your needs.
You may be able to deduct the contribution from your income taxes, depending on participation in a workplace plan and income.
You do not receive the income tax deduction. But, when you reach retirement age, you may be able to take qualified withdrawals tax-free.*
SIMPLE AND SEP IRA
There are other tax-deferred retirement saving options to consider if you are self employed or a small business owner.
*Unless certain criteria are met, Roth IRA owners must be 59½ or older and have held the IRA for five years before tax-free withdrawals are permitted.
You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.
Raymond James financial advisors may only conduct business with residents of the states and/or jurisdictions for which they are properly registered. Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed. Please note that not all of the investments and services mentioned are available in every state. Investors outside of the United States are subject to securities and tax regulations within their applicable jurisdictions that are not addressed on this site. Contact your local Raymond James office for information and availability.
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